Fireworks are seen beside a giant San Miguel beer bottle. Mirzan Mahathir has
just been appointed a director of San Miguel Corp. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Mirzan Mahathir, the eldest son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was recently appointed to the board of San Miguel Corp, the biggest food and beverage conglomerate in the Philippines and the owner of San Miguel Brewery Inc.
San Miguel Corp told the Philippines stock exchange last week about Mirzan’s appointment which is to represent the interests of Q-Tech Alliance Holdings Inc on the board.
Q-Tech, a Manila-based investment company in which Mirzan has a stake in, recently acquired a 19.9 per cent share in San Miguel Corp for 39.61 billion pesos (RM2.9 billion).
It bought the stake from Japan’s Kirin Holdings, which used the funds to help finance the acquisition of a 43 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.
With this latest corporate exercise, San Miguel Corp still maintains a 51 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.
San Miguel Brewery controls 95 per cent of the Philippine beer market. The company has made San Miguel Beer for more than a century. The beer is brewed in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, and is sold in 60 markets worldwide, according to the company’s Web site.
San Miguel Corp has been selling its food and beverage assets since 2007 to expand into the mining, infrastructure and property industries.
Mirzan’s involvement in the deal, while a sound investment decision, has raised some eyebrows among Malaysia’s conservative Muslim community.
Since news of Q-Tech’s acquisition of San Miguel Corp shares began circulating here, a number of news blogs have used it to attack Dr Mahathir’s Muslim credentials.
Mirzan’s corporate forays have not been without controversy.
He once controlled Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd when Dr Mahathir was prime minister, but was forced to sell its shipping assets to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC), in what critics said then was a bailout.